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Shares fall...China manufacturing ticks up...Japan, China back trade regulation system

August 31, 2018

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares mostly fell Friday following a report that the Trump administration could put tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods as early as next week. Futures point to a slaightly lower opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remains above $70 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and rose against the euro.

BEIJING (AP) — A survey shows China’s manufacturing activity improved in August but sales weakened amid a worsening tariff war with Washington. The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing said its monthly purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.3 from July’s 51.2 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding. Components for new orders and exports declined, suggesting demand is weakening.

BEIJING (AP) — Japan’s finance minister and Chinese officials have pledged support for the multilateral system of global trade regulation ahead of a possible new round of U.S. tariff hikes in a battle over Beijing’s technology policy. Taro Aso, who was in Beijing for financial talks, made no mention of China’s tariff war with President Donald Trump but said Friday that the two sides agreed “protectionist measures” help no country.

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone eased back during August but remains just above the European Central Bank’s target rate. Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said Friday that its annual headline measure of consumer price inflation came in at 2 percent, down from 2.1 percent the month before. Despite the modest fall, inflation remains ahead of the ECB’s goal of “just below 2 percent.” The ECB is bringing its bond-buying stimulus program to an end as prices have risen towards the target.

LONDON (AP) — Coca-Cola is buying the Costa coffee brand from British firm Whitbread for 3.9 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) in cash, a deal that will see the soft drinks company plug a big hole in its portfolio. The deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2019. Adding Costa to its array of brands will give Coca-Cola a presence in one of the few beverage markets it currently doesn’t contend in and could potentially provide stiff competition to the likes of Starbuck’s.

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